CALL NOW FOR AN APPOINTMENT 425.656.5060

Online Appointment Requests

For convenient scheduling, request an appointment online.

Knee Surgery – What to Expect on the Day of Surgery and the First Day of Recovery (Part 2)

By William P. Barrett, MD on

I had the opportunity to experience recovery from a TKA through the eyes of a close family member, who I, as a joint replacement surgeon was the primary caregiver. This experience gave me a new appreciation of what our patients experience in the weeks after TKR. I will break this up into segments: pre-op, day of surgery and the first day of recovery, day 2- day 6, and weeks 2-6.

Day of Surgery and First Day of Recovery 

You will arrive at the facility 2-3 hours before your actual surgery start time. Remember, no solid food for 6 hours but you can drink clear liquids ( water, sports drinks, coffee no cream, tea ) up till 3 hours before surgery. This is actually good to keep you hydrated and your kidneys working. You have taken your usual prescription medications as directed by your doctor. You check in at the facility and are asked multiple times “what procedure is your surgeon performing”. Having washed with special antimicrobial soap over the last few days you feel squeaky clean. You change into a hospital gown, wipe down again with antiseptic wipes. They then have you clean your nose with an iodine solution, this will burn but kills bacteria. The nurses ask you about your medical history and the anesthesiologist comes in to meet you. They discuss the multi-modal approach to anesthesia and pain. You will receive pre-op Tylenol, an anti-inflammatory medication and other medication to minimize an upset stomach. The circulating nurse will come and meet you in the pre-op area. She will roll you back to the operating room. You will meet your team, the scrub tech, and anesthesiologist. The OR can be cold, but we have warm blankets. There is lots of equipment and monitors.  In the operating room, a spinal anesthetic and knee nerve block will be performed by anesthesia. You will be given sedation so you will drift off to sleep. The operation is completed and you are off to recovery.

The first thing you remember is the recovery room. A recover nurse monitors your vital signs and once our anesthesia has worn off you are off to your room if you spend the night or to a step-down recovery if you are going home that day. You will sit up in bed and dangle your legs. Physical therapy will see you and begin walking and range of motion exercises. Icing and elevation help decrease pain and swelling. The medication and effects of the blocks make the first day not so uncomfortable. Often you will receive an IV dose of steroids to help with nausea and pain and this may make sleep on the first night a bit challenging. Working on bending and straightening of your knee and straight leg raising exercises is your goal for the day of surgery. The next morning your knee may be more sore as the blocks have worn off. Multi-modal pain management helps as will ice, gel packs, ice machines. More walking and range of motion exercises. Elevating the leg for 30 to 60 minutes at a time is really helpful. Keeping distracted with books, TV, music or other diversions is very helpful to take your mind off the discomfort.

You are on your way to enjoying your new knee but some hard work will be required. Don’t get discouraged remember to ice and elevate. See the picture above the post. Notice the foot is higher than heart and ice cuff on the knee. Remember, the knee is straight to assist in gaining knee extension.

LOCATIONS

RENTON

4011 Talbot Rd S #300
Renton, WA 98055

Phone: 425.656.5060
Fax: 425.656.5047

COVINGTON

27005 168th Pl SE #201
Covington, WA 98042

Phone: 253.630.3660
Fax: 253.631.1591

Maple Valley

24060 SE Kent Kangley Rd,
Maple Valley, WA 98038

Phone: 425.358.7708
Fax: 425.656.5047

Bone and Joint Urgent Care

150 Andover Park W.
Tukwila, WA 98188

Phone: 425.979.BONE

Latest POA News

  • Proliance Bone and Joint Urgent Care

    Proliance Bone and Joint Urgent Care Is OPEN!

    ORTHOPEDIC URGENT CARE OPENS IN TUKWILA  Proliance Bone and Joint Urgent Care is the only orthopedic urgent care in the Puget Sound region.  [TUKWILA, WA, JANUARY 9, 2019] — Proliance Orthopedic Associates, a Division of Proliance Surgeons, is pleased to announce the opening of Proliance Bone and Joint Urgent Care located at 150 Andover Park …

  • Healthy Holiday Meal

    How to Stay Holiday Healthy

    Wondering how to stay healthy this holiday season? Looking for tips on your diet or exercise routine to build healthy habits? The doctors at Proliance Orthopedic Associates can help you learn more about the best practices for your health. We provide a wide variety of orthopedic services for our patients, specializing in joint replacement, sports …

  • Haloman Pro Casual

    Healing Hip Pain: Q&A with Dr. Haloman

    Dr. Haloman serves a large role as POA’s in-house hip preservation specialist, within our knee and hip services, where he treats a variety of ailments through arthroscopic surgery of the hip, shoulder, and knee. After several months practicing at POA, we realized it was time for a check-up with our newest orthopedic surgeon. Catch up with Dr. Haloman …

Dr. Barrett's Blog

  • Know the outcomes of your total joint implant system

    Several factors affect the outcome of joint replacement surgery. Most important is the skill and experience of your surgeon. Next is the patient and his/her motivation. Thirdly, is the implant. There are joint registries around the world which track the performance of various implant systems. For our anterior hip replacements, we primarily use a Pinnacle …

  • Hip and Knee Surgeons’ position paper on use of stem cell therapies for advanced osteoarthritis

    In the June 2019 issue of the Journal of Arthroplasty, the American Association of Hip and Knee surgeons, The Knee Society, and the Hip Society published a position paper on the use of stem cell therapies for advanced arthritis of the knee and hip. They all state that there is no data to justify the …

  • Recovery from Knee Replacement: 2 Perspectives (Part 5)

    I had the opportunity to experience recovery from a TKA through the eyes of a close family member, who I, as a joint replacement surgeon was the primary caregiver. This experience gave me a new appreciation of what our patients experience in the weeks after TKR. I will break this up into segments: pre-op, day of …